SEO for construction helps residential and commercial contractors rank higher in search results and drive relevant website traffic. It can cost between $500 and $10,000. Learn why you should prioritize SEO and how to overcome common challenges.

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You’re building homes, developing infrastructure, and ensuring commercial buildings are up to code. So, it’s no surprise the last thing on your mind is search engine optimization (SEO).

However, if you want to raise brand awareness, find new customers, and get ahead of your local competitors, SEO isn’t optional — it’s essential.

In this article, we’ll explain the different types of SEO for construction and how much it costs to implement. We’ll also share our expert guidance on constructing a watertight SEO marketing strategy for your business.

What is SEO for construction?

SEO for construction is the process of optimizing your construction business website so it ranks as high as possible in organic search engine results on Google and Bing.

(By organic results, we mean search engine result listings earned through SEO rather than bought through pay-per-click advertising, or PPC.)

You want your business’s web pages to appear on the first page of the search engine results, ideally as the number one result.

Google Search result for the search term affordable home builders San Antonio

Ranking on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs) is ideal for three reasons:

  • Potential customers don’t have time to look at every construction website. The first organic result in Google gets nearly 40% of all clicks, meaning more website traffic and potential leads
  • SEO attracts the customers you want to work with. The construction sales cycle is long, so you want to invest time and money into driving qualified leads — not tire kickers
  • Search engines prioritize the most reliable, credible businesses. If you’re ranked high in search, it tells prospects you’re a trustworthy option

A high search ranking shows prospective clients that you can be trusted with their projects. Through keyword research, content marketing, and partnering with relevant businesses, you can attract customers and encourage them to use your services.

How much does SEO for a construction company cost?

The cost of SEO in the construction industry can vary between $500 and $30,000 a month. The ultimate cost of SEO depends on several factors.

  • The size of your business — a large national organization will have more complex SEO needs than a small regional company
  • The amount of SEO work you want to focus on — for example, you may want to concentrate on on-page optimization rather than off-page SEO and backlink building
  • Whether you invest in paid-for SEO tools, for example, Ahrefs, Semrush, or Moz
  • Whether you do the work in-house or use a digital marketing agency

If you choose to work with an organic SEO agency expect to pay between:

  • $500-$1,000 a month for local SEO services
  • $3,000-$10,000 a month for fixed project work
  • $5,000-$30,000 for one-off projects

Sounds like a lot, but think of SEO’s return on investment. People are willing to spend up to $500K to build a house, so you can easily get your SEO investment back by working with the right agency.

The different types of SEO for construction

Want to increase the odds of your construction website ranking on the first page of Google? Of course you do. There are four types of SEO you need in your marketing strategy:

On-page SEO

On-page SEO concerns optimizing your website content to rank in search engines.

Keyword research is one step in the construction SEO process. It identifies the keywords your customers search for, but competitors don’t use. Keyword research tools like Semrush and Ahrefs pinpoint the right words and phrases to target.

Then you use these keywords on relevant pages of your website, for example, your home page.

Semrush’s Keyword Magic tool, showing results for construction services

Kyle Porter, lead strategist at GuidePost Marketing has a unique tip for finding the right SEO keywords for construction.

“We run Google Ads and use the search terms prospective customers use in our data collection efforts,” he says. “We get keywords quickly and can see which keywords actually drive the type of traffic we want. This ensures we’re optimizing for keywords that have actual business impact.”

Other elements of on-page SEO include:

  • Ensuring pages are easy to read by using bullet points, headings, images, and videos
  • Linking to relevant internal pages and external websites
  • Optimizing page title tags and meta descriptions

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO (or off-site SEO) involves search engine optimization strategies that take place off your own website.

This is a little more challenging than on-page SEO because the results fall outside of your control. However, when done right, the results can have a significant impact on your rankings.

Link building is a large part of off-page SEO. This is when you encourage relevant websites to link to your web pages. Backlinks from high-quality, relevant websites act as an “endorsement” of your site and show you’re a trusted and reliable source of information.

Studies show that the more backlinks you have, the higher you are likely to rank. Plus the higher you rank, the more likely people are to link back to your content!

Other elements of off-page SEO include citation building, review management, and claiming a Google Business Profile — we’ll talk more about these below.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO concerns your site performance and how search engine crawlers access your site. The easier it is for the search engines to access and understand the context of your construction website, the better it’ll rank in the SERPs.

A large part of technical SEO is page speed and mobile responsiveness. Google monitors Core Web Vitals — a set of three metrics that cover page loading times and how a page behaves on a mobile device.

Other aspects of technical SEO include:

  • Your website structure
  • Page redirects
  • Duplicate content and canonical tags
  • Site security — for example, using HTTPS instead of HTTP

Local SEO

Local SEO revolves around your website’s visibility in a specific town, city, or region. It involves on-page and off-page SEO elements.

For instance, if you’re a construction business operating in Las Vegas, you should rank in the local search results when people search for “construction services in Las Vegas,” “construction contractors in Las Vegas,” or even “builders near me.”

Aside from localized keyword research and implementation, two great ways to enhance your construction SEO are through a Google Business Profile and local citations.

A Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) lets you claim ownership of your business on Google. You can then manage your information, including reviews, opening times, and services offered.

Example of a Google Business Profile

An optimized Google Business Profile provides Google with valuable business information, so it can promote your construction company in relevant search results.

It also increases your odds of appearing in the Google Map Pack, a selection of local businesses that appear at the top of the search results page — valuable real estate that can lead to additional clicks and conversions.

Google Map Pack in Google Search results

A local citation (or NAP citation) is a mention of your business name, address, and phone number on an external website.

Example of a local citation in Yelp

Local citations provide search engines with proof your business is active and show how close you are to your customers. While they’re not the most significant SEO ranking factor, local businesses with accurate citations are 70% more likely to rank higher in the SERPs.

“I worked with a home renovation firm. It doubled down on local SEO by enhancing its Google Business Profile, getting citations from local directories, and creating location-specific service pages,” said Alex Adekola, CEO of Ready Adjuster. “Within six months, it ranked in the top three for nearly all of its chosen local keywords, and saw a 35% spike in concrete leads and project bookings.”

SEO challenges in the construction industry

Construction marketing comes with unique challenges. The good news is you can mitigate these risks by optimizing your SEO strategy accordingly.

Long sales cycles

The average sales cycle takes between 6-12 months. However, the average sales cycle in the commercial construction services sector can be considerably longer. This is because these projects require significant financial investment and involve multiple stakeholders.

Long sales cycles can be frustrating for construction companies because they cause cash flow problems and a drop in staff morale.

The best way to reduce the impact caused by long sales cycles is to ensure a steady flow of customers across your sales funnel. That way, you can always ensure you have contracts in the pipeline.

When choosing SEO keywords for your construction business, consider the search intent. This means targeting people at different stages of the search funnel.

Understanding the search intent behind specific keywords and creating content accordingly safeguards your construction business from long sales cycles.

Creating content for a niche audience

The construction sector can be niche — particularly if you specialize in a specific area of construction like civil engineering. This means it’s even more essential to use SEO to appear in the right searches.

Create high-quality content based on targeted keywords to expand your reach. For example, create articles, case studies, testimonials, and guest posts on relevant third-party sites.

Example of a blog post on the PI Gardening website

Dimitar Kondev created a blog to help his client PI Gardening target the right customers.

“We developed articles to provide useful information to prospective customers, for example, decking ideas, and how to lay turf correctly in the garden” he explains. “This not only attracted more clicks and organic traffic but also supported our main service pages by getting them to page one in Google.”

Working in a competitive sector

The construction sector is highly competitive. Just type “construction companies” into Google, and there are nearly 7 billion pages!

Google search box showing the phrase construction companies

This requires standing out to get ahead — but what do you offer that your competitors don’t?
Use SEO to identify relevant keywords customers use, enhance the user experience on your website, and spy on your competitors. This helps you understand their strengths and weaknesses and gain an advantage in the SERPs.

Here’s a handy SEO tip — use a tool like Ahrefs Site Explorer, Semrush’s Backlinks Analytics, or Ubersuggest to identify the backlinks your competitors have gained. Then try to get backlinks from these websites to boost your off-page SEO.

Backlinks overview on Ubersuggest for

Sustaining rankings during off-peak times

Construction is a seasonal industry. Extreme weather conditions can slow down and even halt production. And some companies may prefer that work happens at certain times of the year. For example, if you’re working in a school, you may do the bulk of your construction work during the summer break while students are away.

This means you may experience busy and slow times of year.

SEO is a great way to ensure you get a steady flow of website traffic no matter the season. You can do this by:

  • Creating evergreen website content — this content is relevant no matter the time of year and doesn’t age
  • Choosing keywords carefully — if you experience a lull in the winter months, target keywords like “why winter is the perfect time to build an outdoor bar in your garden” or “get your kitchen ready for the holiday season”
  • Building a strong backlink and business listing profile to rank well throughout the year

Three expert tips for construction SEO

We’ve looked at best practices for SEO for construction companies, but we wanted to leave you with additional guidance.

Here are three tips to help with your construction SEO:

  1. Use voice search optimization
  2. Get reviews from customers
  3. Track, review, and optimize

Use voice search optimization

Over half of people in the U.S. use voice search every day on mobile devices and smart home speakers. So optimize your construction website for voice search to drive additional traffic and potential inquiries.

When you optimize for voice search you improve the user experience, which can positively affect your search engine position.

Optimize your website for voice search by:

  • Improving your page load speed — a faster website means your website is more likely to be chosen as a voice search result
  • Implementing structured data — this provides search engines with additional information about your business
  • Considering more conversational, natural keywords — a customer using voice search may ask a question like “where is the nearest construction business to me?”
  • Creating FAQ sections that answer customer questions and adding structured data to these pages for an added SEO boost
  • Claiming and optimizing a Google Business Profile — this gives Google more information about your construction business, like the services you offer, your opening times, and the areas you work in

Get reviews from customers

Example of a Google Business Profile review for a construction company

According to a UK study, people read at least six reviews before deciding to book a tradesperson. Getting positive reviews doesn’t just boost your reputation, it improves your SEO too.

Trust is a positive ranking factor in search engines. So if you have a lot of positive reviews showing you’re reputable, you’re more likely to rank high. Plus, reviews contain long-tail keywords that can direct targeted traffic to your business.

You can gather reviews through your Google Business Profile, Facebook page, and review websites like Yelp and Trustpilot.

Don’t forget to respond to reviews, whether they’re positive or negative. A recent survey found 88% of customers say they’d use a business that replies to all of its reviews, even if some of the reviews aren’t five stars.

Track, review, and optimize

SEO is a continual process. Your construction website may have the number one spot in Google today, but a competitor could easily come and take your place tomorrow. Alternatively, a change to the search engine algorithm could affect where your site ranks.

So monitor your position in the rankings and make regular changes to your website to ensure it’s optimized as much as possible.

Google Search Console is a must for all construction websites — it advises which keywords you rank for, plus technical issues affecting your SEO.

If you use HawkSEM to optimize the SEO for your construction company, you can take advantage of our bespoke reporting software — ConversionIQ.

Screenshot of HawkSEM’s ConversionIQ software

“We use ConversionIQ to track every step of the customer journey on your construction website,” says Sam Yadegar, CEO of HawkSEM. “This lets us see which aspects of your SEO campaign work well, and where there’s room for improvement. This ensures you get the best return on investment possible.

ConversionIQ provides valuable insights about your target audience. You can take this information and use it on your other marketing channels, like PPC and social media, to scale your business even further.

The takeaway

A solid SEO strategy can make the difference between your company’s website ranking in the number one spot in Google, or falling behind your competitors.

If you don’t have the time or resources to manage your SEO strategy, or if you want to leave the work to the professionals – we can help.

At HawkSEM, we take a data-driven approach to SEO — we use existing analytics and insights to ensure the best return on investment for your construction business. Our team of organic SEO experts thoroughly understands your goals, target audience, and business strategy – developing a custom SEO program that’s bespoke to your needs.

Take for example the work we did for DILO, a gas handling product and service provider. DILO wanted to improve its search engine presence following a site redesign.

Siemens, a global brand wanting to increase its search engine presence. Our organic search experts developed a comprehensive SEO strategy, optimized existing content,created informative and educational content, and thoroughly audited the DILOSiemens site for technical SEO issues.

As a result, DILO saw a 36% increase in organic clicks and a significant boost in clicks for high-value keywords.46% increase in Google impressions. Siemens increased exposure, traffic, and market share from organ…” with “DILO saw a 36% increase in organic clicks and a significant boost in clicks for high-value keywords.

Want to see how we can do the same for your construction business? Get in touch today and let’s work together to reinforce your SEO strategy!

Contact HawkSEM for Free Consultation